Cameras packed, batteries all charged up and of course the picnic all sorted, all in the name of another Shuttleworth fix.
This time it was the first flying evening of the Shuttleworth flying calendar, 2019, and what a show it was. During the day I was checking the weather forecast every hour to see were the rain bands were going to do during the evenings flying demonstrations, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the rain showers predicted did not materialized, thank you Carol Kirkwood, her predictions were spot on.
We arrived at 13-30pm and to my surprise I was able to park the car second row in, maybe the weather forecast predicted put people off, for me I find the weather is not an issue, but for some of us photographers they only shoot in good conditions, take on the challenge I say, if we as photographers rely on good weather we will not be going anywhere, in this country of ours.
Armed with a pair of Nikon cameras and a few zoom lenses I made tracks to the waiting paddock area to inspect at close quarter’s the static exhibits before the flying programme commenced, for me the organisers of this type of event have once again come up trumps, there was no additional charge for the privilege, take note other airshow organisers.
Before the flying programme commenced it was time to unpack the picnic, put the kettle on and enjoy the moment of good food, pleasant company and to here the sights and sounds of old vintage aircraft getting in position ready for their display, all washed down with a glass or two of vintage wine, only Shuttleworth has the ambiance to do this.
On with the flying programme, and what a programme it was, where else are you going to get 4 different marked Spitfires, a public debut of a newly rebuilt Westland Lysander F-3B courtesy of Air Restoration company (Arco) based at Duxford and to cap it all the first time in all the years that I have been at Shuttleworth, at least 40, I and all those that were in attendance witness a flying demonstration by a 1920s, English Electric Wren, this aircraft normally does a skip and a hop along the runway, WOW I thought all my Christmases had come at once.
The Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight, (BBMF), Mk XV1E Spitfire opened the proceedings with a couple of top side passes followed by a pair of Lysanders F-3Bs, this formation of the pair of Lysanders was last seen in public 20 years ago, what a treat. Another formation worth a recognition was a top side pass of 3 Spitfires and a Sea Hurricane before splitting up to give individual solo demonstration’s in which time the weather was getting better. Other visiting flying display acts came in the shape of a Pitts s-2 and a Extra 310 with added LED lights under the fuselage. Along with the traditional Shuttleworth contributions that took part it all came to a end, the winds died down and the sky got darker, it was time for the Edwardian types to take centre stage with the Bleriot doing a hop and a skip, you never know one day it might do a flypast followed by the Bristol Boxkite, and Deperdussin all in a packed 3 hour programme.
I for one found this event one of the best I have been to in many a year, Thanks go to all involved with putting on a show that only Shuttleworth can do, as I say there is only one place to go and see this type of display in this country, Thank you all. look forward to my next Shuttleworth fix next month, roll on.